In 1997, my Chief would walk up behind me and “rub my shoulders.” He escalated by making comments about how I looked in my uniform.

One day, came into my barracks unannounced claiming “surprise inspection.” He didn’t knock, he just came in while I was getting dressed.
I reported this to my chain of command that he was a part of. I was ignored. The harassment and touching got worse. Again, I reported it to my chain of command. This time, I got all the way to my MCPO.
He told me that nothing would happen to him if they investigated because he was a Chief and but they would move me to a different barracks and to a different division on the base.
After they moved me, the Chief would ask my shipmates if they knew where I was moved to. They knew why I was moved and refused to tell him. He eventually found out though, and would sit outside my barracks every day. He would follow me, he would tell me he missed me.
Again, I reported it, thinking with my new chain of command, something would happen. Something did happen. I was told that they couldn’t do anything about it and if I kept pursuing this, my career would be over. I was labeled as a “problem sailor.”
I was scared to leave my barracks for anything other than work. There were male shipmates who knew what was going on and did their best to try and protect me, even risking their own careers to confront him. It still continued.
February 15, 1998, 2 days before my 20th birthday, some friends talked me into going out on base for my birthday. I wasn’t drinking, I was wearing jeans and a hoodie, I was walking back to my barracks, he followed me, he raped me.
I reported the rape, I was basically interrogated, asked what I was wearing, if I had been drinking, if I did anything that would make him believe that I wanted it. It felt like they were looking for a reason to justify it.
A few days later, I was told that he admitted to having sex with me, but denied that it was rape, and that they weren’t going to ruin his career over a “mistake.”
I couldn’t understand, but he seemed to have stopped. Until a few months later. My division, and several others, had been put on mandatory PT. Quite a few of us skipped out on it, several times. Somehow, he found out. We were accused of failure to follow a direct order.
While the others never made it past the Chiefs and got a slap on the wrist, I was sent up to mast. I stood in front of my XO, I told her that I took full responsibility and understood it was wrong. She sent me out of the room and discussed with the chiefs.
A few minutes later, I was told I would be sent to Captains Mast. I couldn’t understand why I was the only one who was sent to mast. I didn’t put it all together until I walked into my mast and there he was, standing with my chain of command.
At this point, I knew I could destroy him and my chain in front of the Admiral, but I had been so conditioned over the last year that nothing would happen, I just took responsibility for failing to follow a direct order. I received 30/30, but no reduction in rank or pay.
My only solace at this point was that I would be going to another command in a few months. That was until my MCPO called me into his office and said that that Chief was actively trying to find out where I was going. He asked me if I had gotten with my detailer yet. I hadn’t.
My MCPO told me that I should and to keep it to myself. I almost gave up, but I had lived through almost 2 years of hell, I couldn’t let him win or let the Navy know that they broke me.
March of 1999, I left for my new command. I finished my enlistment and I never looked back.

It breaks my heart to see that this still happens. Sexual assault and harassment aren’t the price anyone should pay to be a part of the “good old boys club.”

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